Tesco’s Christmas Sales Improve as Price Investments Start to Yield Results


Tesco reported that Christmas and New Year like-for-like domestic sales increased 1.8%, excluding petrol and a value-added tax. The same-store sales increase is an acceleration from the third-quarter 0.6% LFL sales decline and ahead of figures reported by rivals J. Sainsbury and Wm Morrison, albeit off an easy year-ago comparison.

Still, the domestic LFL sales improvement was the strongest in the three years and probably signals that the GBX 1 billion price investments initiated by Tesco are starting to yield some results, which has shares trading about 2% higher. The company derives a majority of its sales and profits from operations in the United Kingdom.

Like-for-like sales excluding petrol were negative in the Asia, Europe, and the United States (Tesco will soon be exiting the U.S. market), which put consolidated LFL sales at 0.3% for the Christmas reporting period. The company will report detailed second-half financial results sometime in February.

About Tesco

Tesco PLC operates multiple retail formats across the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, and the United States. The company is the leading food retailer in the U.K., where it operates about 2,700 of its nearly 5,400 stores and holds more than 30% share of the grocery market. Tesco has expanded into the nonfood market through hypermarkets and online operations. The company has a large presence in many Eastern European countries and parts of Asia, with a smaller presence in U.S. market, which the firm entered in late 2006.


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